Campaign to stop illegal shipments

Carrie Lee

A SCHEME has been launched to crack down on illegal transshipment and simplify licensing arrangements in the textile trade.

The Textile Trader Registration Scheme, gazetted yesterday and effective from July 1, requires transshipment carriers bound for non-restrained markets to submit details of every textile consignment to the Trade Department.

''Channels for illegal transshipment will be blocked altogether,'' said Trade Department representative Eva Tsang Wai-yee.

The new scheme also simplifies procedures.

Textile traders who register with the scheme will be exempted from licensing requirements concerning imports, domestic exports and re-exports to non-restrained markets.

''Registered traders will only be required to submit to the carrier at the time of shipment a notification containing information on the consignment in question. The notification will then be returned to the Trade Department by the carrier, together withthe manifest,'' said Ms Tsang.

In 1991, about 3.2 million licences were issued for imports and exports to non-restrained countries, said Ms Tsang.

Registration is not compulsory, but the department expects all Hongkong's active textile traders - 35,000 - to register.

Non-restrained markets are countries other than those in the European Community, Austria, Finland, Norway, the United States and Canada.

Applications for registration will be accepted from next Saturday.